Category Archives: Holidays

March On NYC.

Dear Friends,

On Monday, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and we find that so many of his profound words still have so much meaning in today’s world.
One of his most famous quotes reads: Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

And it is in that spirit that we are writing to you. The Women’s March Alliance is organizing a march this Saturday and we wanted to urgently invite you to join. We received the following email yesterday from ATPAM:

Dear Member of ATPAM –

I invite you to join IATSE President Matthew D. Loeb, myself and sisters and brothers from other IATSE NY area locals as we take to the streets for the New York City Women’s March this coming Saturday, January 20. The march begins at 11am and will go down Central Park West, across Central Park South and down 6th Avenue, ending at 43rd Street at around 4pm.

Meeting place for the IATSE cohort will be on Central Park West between 65th and 66th Streets, near the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Look for the IATSE signs!

Bring a sign (no wood or metal), do your vocal warmups (so they can hear us down in Washington!) and keep an eye on the weather reports to dress accordingly. Comfortable shoes are a must.

If you can’t attend the march in New York, check with your local labor council – either city or state – to find out where people are marching in your area.

Let’s keep the pressure on and continue to make noise about issues that affect working men and women across this country.

I hope to see you on Saturday!

In solidarity,


We suggest that you support this powerful movement—even if you cannot make it to the march, there are many ways to support it. For you, for your daughters, for your mothers, for your sisters, for your great-great-granddaughters.

To join the march (which starts right outside our door step!), donate to the cause or learn more click here:

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

We hope this finds you well and staying warm (especially those on the East Coast who are dealing with our Cyclone Bomb of ice and snow)!

Today we are recommending January as a great time to go to the theatre. Everything is winding down from the holidays—and there are many empty seats for the wonderful shows and musicals now playing.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year filled with lots of great theatre!
Philip and Marilyn

new year 2018

Tagged , , , , , ,

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends,
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
It is such a wonderful time of the year. Last week, we shared the story of Dusty and Katie. It shows that the Theatre Development Fund—through theatre—can have a huge impact on everyone’s life. As you finish up your holiday shopping and—especially if you have a few more people on your list to shop for—do consider giving them a membership in the Theatre Development Fund. And while you’re getting one for them—get one for yourself! To become a member, click here!

Here are three great reasons to join:

  1. Tickets cost only $9-$47!  Save up to 70% on hundreds of theatre, dance and music shows daily.
  2. Buy tickets online in advance! Purchase discounted tickets days, and sometimes weeks, in advance right from the comfort of your computer.
  3. Give back! Your membership (along with every discounted ticket you buy) supports TDF’s many far-reaching arts education and theatre accessibility programs.

And if you’re thinking “I can’t join—I don’t’ work in the theatre industry” then we have GREAT! news for you: you don’t have to be! Here is the full list of those who are eligible:

  • Full-time students (high school or above)
  • Full-time teachers (primary or junior high school faculty, high school faculty, university or college faculty, teachers of drama/dance/music)
  • Recent graduates (26 years of age and under)
  • Full-time union members
  • Retirees (no longer working and at least 62 years of age or older)
  • Full-time government employees/civil servants
  • Full-time staff members of not-for-profit organizations
  • Full-time non-exempt employees (full-time hourly workers – 40 hours a week – who are eligible for overtime pay)
  • Full-time arts professionals
  • Members of the armed forces
  • Freelancers
  • Full-time clergy

Don’t miss out on the theatre—don’t miss out on joining TDF!

Happy holidays to you and yours!
Philip and Marilyn

Tagged , , , , ,

Theatre Development Fund


Dear Friends,

We have shared with you how fabulous the Theatre Development Fund is in providing affordable theatre tickets and today we wanted to show why this is important.  We received the following email from a mother, who shared her story about why the theatre is so important to her and her son.

Being life-long devotees of the theatre, we have always known how wonderful it is—but it is so incredible to hear how it can influence other people’s lives.  We ask that if you are looking for a charity to share with this holiday season, that you consider giving to the TDF—so they can continue all of their wonderful work!

December 04, 2017

Dear Philip,

I’m writing to you today as a mother. My son Dusty is 20 years old and severely autistic. He is ‘low verbal’ — he has a few words but is not conversational. Both Dusty and I love Broadway. When I took him to his first show we were asked to leave by an usher because of Dusty’s quiet scripting — ‘self-talk’. I had to drag Dusty out of the theatre. He was screaming ‘Stay Stay.’ That feeling of rejection was profoundly isolating.

Years later, Dusty and I mustered our courage and returned to Broadway for the inaugural TDF Autism Friendly Performance of The Lion King. I sobbed through the opening watching the joy in Dusty’s face during ‘The Circle of Life’. Since then, Dusty has seen over 15 Broadway shows, thanks to TDF. No one has ever asked us to leave.

Last February I got up the nerve to take Dusty to a regular, non-autism friendly performance of Wicked. As Glinda sang, “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good,” Dusty picked up my hand and kissed it. He had never done anything like that before. That is the power of theatre.

I hope you will join me in supporting TDF.

Katie Sweeney
New York, NY


To make your tax-deductible donation to the Theatre Development Fund, click here.

Happy Marvelous Theatre!
Philip and Marilyn

Tagged , , , , ,

Giving Thanks.


Dear Friends,

This being Thanksgiving week, we are thinking about thanks in the theatre world.

We always felt that the theatre would suffer—and perhaps come to an end—because it is not a mass-production enterprise.  Therefore, it cannot equal automobiles, electric lights, and all sorts of items in our daily lives that are mass-produced by machines.

We have previously told you that in 1943, when we brought Oklahoma! to Broadway, Orchestra tickets were $5.75 each, the equivalent to $81.53 today.  Since currently  Broadway musical tickets are averaging $125.00, it is clear that ticket prices have gone up faster than inflation—although only somewhat faster!

The good news is that all 40 Broadway theatres currently have plays running or will be opening new plays this Spring.  This make us very happy because the fact that plays are not mass-produced has not yet ended the theatre!

We are happy and giving thanks this week to all of those who work hard to make the theatre the success that it continues to be!

Best regards and Happy Thanksgiving!
Philip and Marilyn

Tagged , , , , , ,

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit

Dear Friends,

As we countdown the days until Christmas (5 more!), we thought we take some time to share with you some random facts about Christmas.  Today’s facts are brought to you by the History Channel:

For example, did you know that the first recorded mention of Christmas was in 336AD?  Prior to that the Epiphany (the celebration of the arrival of the Magi) on January 6th and Easter (the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus) were the focus of Christian celebrations.

In fact, church officials were the ones who selected the date of December 25th to coincide with the existing pagan holidays celebrating Saturn, the Roman God of Agriculture, and Mithra, the Persian God of Light.  Church officials thought it would be “easier to convince Rome’s pagan subjects to accept Christianity as the empire’s official religion.”

As time went on, the celebration of Christmas and the birth of Jesus spread through most of the Western world, except in part of colonial Puritan New England, where its observance was banned “because they viewed its traditions—the offering of gifts and decorating trees, for example—as linked to paganism. In the early days of the United States, celebrating Christmas was considered a British custom and fell out of style following the American Revolution.”  In fact, at one point anyone in Massachusetts caught celebrating Christmas was fined 5 Shillings! Christmas in America did not became a federal holiday until 1870.

Below is a video from the History Channel, if you’d like to learn more.

Stay well—and live a good life!

Merry Christmas!

Philip & Marilyn Langner

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Good For Your Heart.

Dear Friends,

Today we wanted to switch gears and talk about something completely different:  heart disease, humankind’s most frequent killer.  I know you’re probably thinking “that has nothing to do with the theatre,” however, as the leading cause of death—not only in the United States, but globally as well—we feel it is an important topic for everyone.

It’s all about an article in the New York Times (click here for full article), which says that new studies coming out are showing that even small positive life style changes can have a positive effect on lowering one’s risk of developing heart disease, even if you have a genetic predisposition to it.

We, perhaps like you, always thought that if you wanted to dramatically reduce your chances of having a heart attached you had to have the right genetics and eat perfectly and exercise an hour every day and never smoke.  And while doing all these things could dramatically reduce your chances of developing heart disease, this NY Times article explains that even doing one of these things will drop your risk significantly.

Great news, especially as we’re heading into a season of indulgence.  Now we know that with a little bit of effort we can all work toward reducing our chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

Stay well—and live a good life!

PL and MC

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

Tagged , , ,

Sunrise at Campobello

Dear Friends,

Since we’ve been celebrating American history all week, we thought we’d share this post with you again, as it is where history and theatre intersect!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Certainly one of the most exciting plays we ever produced was Sunrise at Campobello, the story of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the early 1920s.

We were extremely happy when Dore Schary, a prominent head of MGM, decided to leave Hollywood to concentrate on writing and producing plays in New York!

campo 2

His first play, Sunrise, was excellent!  We opened the play on what would have been Roosevelt’s 76th birthday—January 30, 1958.  It was directed by Vincent J. Donehue and starred Ralph Bellamy as Roosevelt, along with Mary Fickett, Henry Jones, Anne Seymour, Mary Welch, Alan Bunce and more!

The play ran for 16 months with 556 spectacular performances.  It was nominated for 6 Tonys in 1958 and won Best Play, Best Actor, Best Director…

  • Best Play (winner)
  • Outstanding Actor in a Play—Ralph Bellamy (winner)
  • Direction—Vincent J. Donehue (winner)
  • Featured Actor in a Play—Henry Jones (winner)
  • Featured Actress in…

View original post 95 more words

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate the birth of America, we’d like to share with you our post from last year…

Happy July 4th!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Happy 4th of July!

On this date 239 years ago, 13 British colonies decided to declare their independence from England by adopting The Declaration of Independence and forming the sovereign state of The United States of America.

There was such passion and poetry in this historical document that we believe it is really worth taking a few minutes to read it (photo above and transcript below courtesy of The National Archives). By the way, the 13 colonies were having all sorts of arguments about it (just like we’re arguing today). While the arguments may have changed, they are no more or less important in that they (opinions of everyone) are what have formed this amazing country we call home.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to…

View original post 1,471 more words

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Ed Asner & Ron Nash in the FDR Presidential Car

Dear Friends,

As we head into the holiday weekend, we wanted to share this great photo with you!

Happy July 4th!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Ed & Ron

View original post

Tagged , , , , , , , ,